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Intent-Based Networking’s Next Evolution: The DNA Center Platform


June 12, 2018 - 8 Comments

For more than 20 years, organizations have been running their networks pretty much the same way. But recently, that way has become increasingly difficult, fragmented, and expensive. Modern networks need to be both more integrated, and yet more flexible.

So a year ago, we launched our most ambitious network re-think in our history: our intent-based networking offering, Cisco DNA, and its centerpiece control software, Cisco DNA Center. It treats every network device — be it wired, wireless, or wide-area — as part of a unified fabric, giving IT a simpler, more cost-effective way to take control of one of their businesses’ most valuable assets: network infrastructure.

Cisco DNA Center makes it possible for network operators to react to business needs and security threats at machine speed, across their entire network. This means, first, that they don’t have to rely on time-consuming human-powered workflows, making changes one network device at a time; they  can interact with the network as a single fabric. And second, that when there’s an issue with the network (like a cyber attack), the network can react to it in real time.

More recently, we rolled out DNA Assurance, which provides deep visibility and insights into everything that happens on a network, and everything that has happened previously. When there’s an issue to solve, it gives network administrators the capability to go back in time and see exactly what was happening at the precise moment that the user or device experienced a problem. It makes troubleshooting immeasurably faster, and more proactive, than it is today.

Now Cisco DNA Center is an Open Platform

And now we’re opening the network fabric itself to developers. Cisco DNA Center’s new open platform capabilities mean all its powerful, networkwide automation and assurance tools are available to our partners and customers. With the network as a programmable platform, they will be able to make IT and business applications run better and more securely, deliver better experiences to employees and customers, and extract the value of the data that their networks are collecting.

The first uses of the new Cisco DNA Center platform capabilities will be IT applications. Already, the IT service management system ServiceNow has an integration into Cisco DNA Center.  With it, Cisco DNA Center can automatically create trouble tickets in ServiceNow. The tickets are enriched with insights that IT personnel  can use to resolve network, user, and application issues. IT operators can also trigger  remediation events using ServiceNow, that take advantage of Cisco DNA Center’s reach across the network. Together, Cisco DNA Center and ServiceNow can create and close out a ticket — faster and more accurately than either system could independently.

Other partners are creating services for things like software image updates (Accenture), power management (Presidio), physical security (Italtel Netwrapper), mobile operations management (WWT), 3rd-party device provisioning (HCL), and other IT solutions.

Our platform for intent-based networking is built on Cisco DNA Center. It allows customers and partners to develop network-centric applications without having to program devices directly.

As more customers learn what Cisco DNA Center can do, its applicability will extend into line-of-business applications. For example, new platform capabilities will expose location data from network devices, which can be used to dramatically improve logistics. In healthcare, location data (for personnel and equipment), can improve care and lower costs.

Open to Ideas

We’re proud to be able to open up this rich and valuable resource to our customers. But it’s still early in the evolution of intent-based networking, and we want to help people learn and share new ways to make their assets work better for their organizations. Our DevNet program is where this all comes together. We have 500,000 developers on the program already, and we continue to add resources to help everyone grow.   We also launched this week three new programs for DevNet: Ecosystem Exchange, Code Exchange, and DNA Developer Center.

Cisco’s Services group is also working to help business leaders take full advantage of the new Cisco DNA Center platform.

The new platform capabilities that Cisco DNA Center offers are based on a flexible architecture that will make new business processes and flows possible, both through the control it enables and the data it makes available. We can’t anticipate all the innovations that people will build on it. We’ve already been surprised by what some of our earliest partners have done.

Cisco DNA Center is our most ambitious and flexible platform ever. It builds on 30 years of knowledge across all areas of networking, on all the rich relationships we have with customers and partners, and on top of the vision our engineers have about where networking is going in the near future. We hope you find it valuable.



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8 Comments

  1. I work in australia and I would love to join it and develop/improve my knowledge, do I need to pay or subscribe for something?

    • Hi Roger, Use this URL to get to the DevNet page -- developer.cisco.com Once you get there, you'll find a button near the top right of the page labeled "SIGN UP FREE". Click on that button and sign up for a free account. Once you have an account, use this URL -- learninglabs.cisco.com/modules to go to the free Cisco Learning Labs and start learning about lots of great stuff.

  2. Wow!! Thanks for linking Cisco DNA and The Network Intuitive with the DevNet devleoper program, the DevNet Ecosystem Exchange, and the DevNet Code Exchange! I hadn't realized that these were all part of the same push towards the Network Engineer of the future.

  3. good

  4. Can i learn this at Cisco Learning Centers in Kenya, Africa and learn how to implement it in them corporate realm?

    • Hi P3t3r Good News! :) The EN DNA Center & SD-Access team recently put together 2 major Cisco Learning video series, which just became available for Customers. 1. CUST-SDA-FUND - Features over 14 hours of VoD content focused on deploying the Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) solution with Cisco ISE and Cisco DNA Center from the ground up. 2. CUST-SDA-ISE - Features over 5 hours of VoD content focused on Cisco ISE operation and group-based policy configuration as they apply to Cisco SD-Access. Please visit: www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/resources/training-services/training-on-demand.html?flt1_general-table0=cust-sda

  5. The ability to use Cisco DNA Center as a platform to develop applications using the APIs finally unlocks the true potential of intent based networking

  6. Timothy Fahey here Does DNA work for SMB when purchasing Cisco on-premise routers, switches, ME wireless?